From education to employment

Access Creative College launches new music-industry apprenticeship

Man using studio level mixing desk

Access Creative College has become the first training provider to deliver a new music-industry apprenticeship, in partnership with Pirate.

The two UK leading institutions have joined forces to upskill Pirate’s recently appointed site managers and provide artists with greater technical support throughout their global studio network.

The new apprenticeship, solely focusses on developing existing employees, broadening the horizons of individuals, both within their current roles, and beyond as they develop their careers.

The Assistant Recording Technician apprenticeship is the first of its kind in the UK and is funded by the apprenticeship levy transfer. Delivered by the National College for the Creative Industries (NCCI), now part of Access Creative College, it is designed to meet the staff development needs of industry employers, and support employees as they progress in their careers.

Jason Beaumont, chief executive, Access Creative College, commented:

“Working in partnership with industry innovators like Pirate just shows that apprenticeships have a place in the music industry, not just those entering the sector but those working within it.

“We are acutely aware of the challenges the industry faces, in terms of the skills gap, recruitment and retention and it’s partnerships like this that will help address these issues and help develop a highly skilled workforce to fuel future sector growth.”

Earlier this year, Pirate decided to move away from entirely unmanned sites and introduce site managers at each of its locations to help foster the creative communities that use them.

By developing the skills of their on-the-ground workforce, the artists and customers using the studios will benefit from having expert technicians on hand who have in-depth knowledge of the latest technology and techniques within music production and high-quality recording.

Ashlee Campbell, vice president of people, Pirate added:

“As our network of studios grows, it’s important the personality of each site is reflected in the space we operate. By employing site managers, we can cater to the different needs of our users in each region, and this partnership will enable us to make sure they are up-to-speed on the latest innovations in technology and technique being adopted in the industry to support artists using our studios.

“For us, this partnership will be a fundamental part of our staff development, ensuring we help our employees in their current roles, and beyond, as their careers progress.”

The Assistant Recording Technician apprenticeship has been developed by a trailblazer group made up of Access Creative College, Pirate Studios, JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Support), Music Producers Guild, RAK Studios, Metropolis, Aquarium Studios, Halo Post, Alchemy Mastering and Elephant Studios.

Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive, UK Music, added:

“UK Music is really pleased to see our valued Music Academic Partnership member Access Creative College launch the first cohort of Assistant Recording Technician apprentices with Pirate.

“The apprenticeship was developed to offer an alternative and accessible route into this exciting career and it’s great to see it get off the ground. We want to thank ACC for working so hard to get the delivery underway and all the members of the Trailblazer group who developed it. We look forward to seeing it grow in the coming years and wish the first cohort of students all the best as they take their first steps in joining our exciting industry.”

The first cohort to enrol on the new apprenticeship will start their training in November, with a second enrolment commencing in February 2023. The ambitions for the partnership will see employees enrol on the course every six months, as new employees develop their careers as Pirate’s network of studios grows.

For more information on the National College of Creative Industries and its apprenticeships visit For more information on Access Creative College, its courses and campuses visit and follow @accesscreativecollege on TikTok, Facebook and Instagram, and @Access_Creative on Twitter.

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